Book Review: All the Bright Places

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Book Review: All the Bright Places

Sophia Bach

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Jennifer Niven’s All the Bright Places features two teens with depression, Violet and Finch. The story follows their budding romance as well as their personal growth, all while they explore their home state of Indiana. It is a graceful and poignant novel that both draws readers in but pulls fiercely at their heartstrings. If I had to give it a numbered review it would earn a solid 11 out of 10. I highly advise everyone to give it a chance. I found it incredibly easy to get through and didn’t find myself struggling to find the motivation to read. 

The beginning of the book starts out somewhat like The Fault in Our Stars. Two teens meet by random circumstance, connect over pretentious literature, and both try to make their serious illnesses lighthearted, in this case their illnesses’ being mental rather than physical. Finch and Violet are in the same geography class; the teacher assigns a special project, in which students must pair up and find unique places in their home state of Indiana and make a report. Violetdue to past trauma, is strongly against this and sends Finch an angry message about how he ambushed her in class, forcing her to do the assignment. As Violet and Finch continue on, Finch develops a crush on Violet and is eager to help her see the joy in life and well as combating the world of his that he feels is shrinking. And be prepared for a plot twist!

I found that this novel had a very refreshing take on the struggles with mental illness. It did not glorify or romanticize it as many other books have tastelessly done. It approaches and deals with the topic in an effective and meaningful way. Overall, I believe that it’s extremely well written and relevant. Many people can find solace or help in this book, and it’s amazing that a book can have such a powerful effect on somebody. 

All in all, it’s a really powerful book and even if you don’t often have the urge to pick up a book and read in your spare time I would highly advise you to do so. I have read a lot of books in my lifetime and let me tell you, this one really left an impact. 

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